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How Underwater Data Collection is Made Easy with a Deep Trekker ROV

Rachel Doornekamp   |   May 8, 2020

Portable and quick to deploy, Deep Trekker’s battery powered ROVs are perfect for conducting underwater research. Weatherproof handheld controllers paired with reliable and robust ROVs make both the DTG3 and the REVOLUTION suitable for a wide range of conditions and locations.

Equipped with a specially designed environmental inspection camera that transmits clear HD images to the handheld controller, Deep Trekker ROVs allow operators to conduct underwater research without having to send a diver in the water. Users can follow the activity and behavior of fish, determine the health of plant life, monitor invasive species and detect changes in the underwater environment all from topside.

In addition to observation, Deep Trekker ROVs provide users with numerous ways to collect data from underwater research sites. Intelligent integrated sensors provide reliable depth, heading and temperature readings for consistent reference. Deep Trekker also has several accessories that make use of the Two-Function Grabber Arm to provide easy-to-use and effective tools for underwater data collection.

Caliper Attachment

The Caliper Attachment is designed to allow users to conveniently measure surfaces and objects underwater. By comparing the caliper measurement tool to the target, users can determine size within 2.5mm of accuracy.

Water Sampler

Using the Water Sampler , ROV pilots can quickly and easily collect water samples from various depths and locations. The syringe allows for a sample of 100cc to be drawn and returned to the surface for testing.

Sediment Sampler

The Sediment Sampler provides operators with a reliable way to obtain sediment from seafloors and lake beds. The shovels close together allowing for 250cc of sediment to be brought to the surface for further testing.

The water sampler, sediment sampler and caliper attachment are also available as part of our Manipulator Bundle Pack.

Water Quality Sensors

Beyond taking physical samples and testing them after your dive, you can bring the testing directly into the water with the Multiparameter Sonde attachment. This sonde mounts to your DTG3 or REVOLUTION ROV and enables you to both monitor live and record data over the duration of your dive.

Monitor up to 4 parameters simultaneously such as Dissolved Oxygen, pH, Salinity/Conductivity, Chlorophyll and more with easily interchangeable parameters. Take a look at all of our options.

Wilfrid Laurier University

Homa Kheyrollah Pour, Canada Research Chair in Remote Sensing of Environmental Change and assistant professor in Wilfrid Laurier University's Department of Geography and Environmental Studies recently returned from the Northwest Territories after conducting research on global warming using the DTG3 with her team, the Remote Sensing of Environmental Change Research Group (ReSEC Lab).

Dispatching to Délı̨nę, within the Tsá Tué International Biosphere Reserve in the Northwest Territories, Kheyrollah Pour and her team set out to gather information regarding the effects of climate change on Arctic lake ice. Global warming is especially pertinent to Northern Canada as reports have suggested that Northern Canada is warming at nearly three times the global rate.Laurier has a longstanding research partnership with the Government of the Northwest Territories through their Centre for Cold Regions and Water Science. Using the DTG3, Kheyrollah Pour and her team set out to understand Arctic lake ice phenology and thickness and study the interplay between ice condition variability and lake water attributes and productivity.

The ReSEC team also took important water and sediment samples with their DTG3. “Without the ROV, we couldn’t collect water samples under the ice at various depths up to 45m,” shared Kheyrollah Pour. With the temperature sensor on the ROV, the researchers were able to gather data regarding changing water temperatures at numerous depths and locations. Noting that land loses heat faster than water, Kheyrollah Pour mentioned that obtaining these temperatures was crucial to her research.

Looking at algae blooms also provided key information for the ReSEC team. “We used the Deep Trekker for sampling different depths and to take sediment samples from the bottom,” said Kheyrollah Pour. Taking samples from different depths and locations gave the team a complete look at the surrounding environment.

For more information about Kheyrollah Pour and her team, check out our case study.

Shawn Robinson

A senior research scientist with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans at the Biological Station in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Shawn Robinson is actively engaged in learning how the ocean is changing. One way he is doing this is by monitoring how human interaction is altering marine life.

Robinson set out to understand soft-bottom ocean sites at nearby aquaculture farms. His project focused on collecting enough samples to determine what sort of species were living there, what their genetic makeup was, and how this group of species is potentially changing with the development of an aquaculture site.

Although his Deep Trekker ROV came equipped with the water sampling feature, Robinson wanted to make use of the ROVs adaptability by creating a way to collect multiple samples at the same site. Robinson used a free 3D modeling software and was able to create and print many iterations of six syringes in a circle. The design took advantage of the rotating manipulator function on the Deep Trekker ROV, which would open all of the syringes at the same time to bring in the water sample.

The Deep Trekker manipulator provided the exact motion Robinson required to open the syringes, as the manipulator could rotate continuously 360-degrees. The syringes could be set to be closed prior to the dive, and when rotated, an attached string would pull all the syringes open.

Robinson investigated two sites in close proximity to aquaculture farms and collected over 200 samples with the Deep Trekker ROV. Each of the six syringes designed by Robinson took in 50cc of sediment and water and were then used to distinguish the species inhabiting the area.

More information about Shawn Robinson and his work can be found on our blog.

To learn more about how Deep Trekker ROVs are used for data collection and research purposes, check out our posts on WCS Canada’s Lake Sturgeon Project and Island Dolphin Care.

Our team of experts are available to answer any questions you may have about ROVs and data collection, don’t hesitate to reach out! As always, you can get your own customized quote to build the perfect ROV for you.